If we choose to enter together,
we will surely find others
who have come before,
certain pilgrims, exiles, lovers,
away for a moment or two
from the psychopathic eye of a failing god,
away for a stolen glimpse
of whatever remains the decaying coliseum,
basilica, mausoleum.

Somewhere in a clearing, it was like this always
or almost always: a stream cut
through granite and limestone
to find a river, a spot hollowed out
from the earth, a house made of antelope
hide, a few shards of mica and quartz,
an assemblage of bone.

Iconography so elusive, we scarcely notice
our unconscious, ritual bondage
to the merely specific and local
begin to dissolve. Blood here.
Blood and death here.
All the old smells, the smoke smells.
Saliva and sputum and sperm. Are you
still here? Can you hear me?
Are you coming along?

Hear it:


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